Konark International Sand Art Festival 2017

Konark Sand art festival

The International Sand Art Festival is a one of its kind festival organized at the Chandrabhaga beach of Konark in Odisha from December 1 to December 5. This 5 day extravaganza features sand artists from many countries who compete with the best Indian artists for the title. Its a remarkable cultural event held along with the Konark Dance Festival and is organized by Odisha Tourism to provide an impetus to tourism in Odisha. Thousands of people visit every year to witness sand artists showcasing their talent and creating masterpieces with sand. During this 5 days, there are 5 different themes and the artists are required to change the sculpture every day as per the theme.  Read more

Mata Vaishnodevi shrine at Katra #1: Ban Ganga to Adhkwari

A shivering cold night, mantras played on speakers are wafting in the air accompanied with zealous chants of “ZORR SE BOLO… JAI MATA DI…“, there are horses and mules rushing up and down the tortuous paths and there are enervated people climbing with their walking sticks, panting, struggling to catch a breath yet unwilling to stop. Read more

Peeping into Pakistan at the Wagah border

Wagah Border Amritsar

In July 1947, Sir Cyril Radcliffe, a British lawyer on his first ever visit to India was assigned the duty to draw a border that would separate India and Pakistan. The border he drew divided people who had fought, loved and lived together for centuries and created two nations that went on to become arch-nemesis. Seventy two years after the border Read more

Visakhapatnam #2 : Kailashgiri & Seemanchalam

Seemanchalam Temple

Visakhapatnam is a unique city. It has a rare, unconventional combination of beaches and hills. I mentioned about the tourist places along the beaches in my last post which includes the one of its kind INS Kurusura submarine museum, the maritime Visakha museum and the beautiful Ramakrishna beach. Read more

A weekend at Visakhapatnam #1

Visakhapatnam travel blogs

An early morning on a Saturday, I woke up and dragged my blanket down. I looked out of the window with somnolent eyes and saw large container cargo ships sailing in the Bay of Bengal. I saw the resplendent sun adding colours to the crepuscular hues. This was the view from a window of the iconic Palm Beach Resort of Visakhapatnam. Read more

The Excavation site of ancient Nalanda University

Nalanda University ruins

In India lotus is often associated with knowledge and the word Nalanda translates to “Giver of Lotus stalks“.  At its prime Nalanda University was one of the best centres of excellence and attracted students from as far as China, Mongolia and Persia. Nalanda University was established in 5th century by the Gupta dynasty rulers with subsequent additions by the rulers of Kanauj and the Pala dynasty of Bengal. Read more

Mahabodhi Temple : Tracing the roots of Buddhism

Bodh Gaya

Buddhism, one of the prominent religions of Asia traces its origins to Bodh Gaya. The place where Prince Siddhartha became Lord Buddha. The place that preached the world about virtues of peace and nonviolence; about benevolence and the subtle art of dharma. Situated in Bihar, a state much despised for being unruly and rowdy, Bodh Gaya seems like an oasis in the desert. Bodh Gaya dotted with numerous monasteries has a tranquil, spiritual environment much in contrast to some other places in the state. Read more

Photostory : The international temples at Bodh Gaya

Bodh Gaya

Bodh Gaya, the place where Buddhism took birth, has over time become a truly global spiritual destination with international tourists from all Buddhism practicing nations flocking to Bodh Gaya throughout the year. All major Buddhism practicing nations and all sects of Buddhism have established their own temples at Bodh Gaya to facilitate their visitors. With about 15 countries and sects establishing their monasteries at Bodh Gaya, each with its typical architectural features, Read more

Mukhteshwara & Raja Rani temple at Bhubaneswar

Mukhteshwara Temple

Mukhteshwara (Lord of Freedom) temple, often called the “Gem of Odisha culture” is a 10th century temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Mukhteshwar temple has a typical Kalinga architecture featuring a Mukhasala, a Jagamohana and the Vimana. Mukhteshwara temple, though a dwarf, when compared in size to other temples built during that golden epoch of 300 years like the humongous Lingaraj temple or the Jagannath temple at Puri, is no short in sculptural magnificence.  Read more

Konark: The Black Pagoda in Odisha

Konark temple (DND)

I am back with my first post of 2017. I  wish you had a great start to the new year and welcomed it by enjoying to the fullest. My first destination of 2017 is a ruined 12th century temple in Puri district of Odisha – The sun temple of Konark.

Konark Temple is an eerie place to visit. For some, its nothing more than a ruined temple while for those with an artistic insight, its a thing of beauty, a subtle combination of science, art and spirituality. Built in 1255 by the Ganga dynasty rulers, the temple had stood firm at its place for about eight centuries and what remains today is only a glimpse of the magnificent workmanship of the sculptures of the bygone years. No one has appreciated its beauty; neither the Europeans who desecrated it nor the democratic governments that followed. Read more